When I was a kid I used to spend hours playing with those Letraset transfer sheets – wrestling with getting the spacing and alignment just right. And that love of type has stuck with me into my professional career. And so I have to be honest – I’m an absolute sucker for a really great font or two and I hope I always will be. The right typeface used in the right way can really enhance a design. Even generic fonts can have their moment. In a branding project, I probably spend more time getting the typographic look right than almost anything else.
Why is this? One primary reason stands heads and shoulders above the rest. Communication. In it’s purest essence, graphic design is a communication tool. As a designer, my aim is to help my clients communicate effectively and appropriately with their existing and potential customers or supporters.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, design contains many vital elements, but I think one of the absolute key ones is typography. It really bugs me when I see amazing logos blended with a completely inappropriate font. So much care and attention has gone into creating the iconic side of things that the typographic element seems an afterthought.
The typeface used will communicate so much about an organisation – for good or bad – that it’s far too important to not spend a huge amount of time getting it just right. When choosing the fonts for my company, I whittled a list of 50 down to a a shortlist of six that brought out different elements of my company that I wanted to communicate. Fun. Bold. Designed. Original. Contemporary. Approachable. Creative. Flexible. Different. Thoughtful. Considered. Audacious. After playing around with several ideas and renderings of my company name, I picked the two best and did a number of test designs to see which I preferred working with, which one felt right. Only after that did I make my final choice – Exo. Get it here. And I love it. It’s right for me and my company.
But if I used this font for an architect client of mine, I’d be in trouble as it communicates the wrong message entirely. When I did his branding, I used a much more elegant and precise font. Getting this element of design right is so vital that it is worth spending a whole lot of time over until it is perfect. And when you get it right, it pulls every other design element together. It acts as the glue that holds the overall design together. And that’s why I love typography. Thank you, Letraset.